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Decision to close Cumbernauld court is "damaging", say Conservatives

Written by Scott Campbell.
 
 
 
 
 
Published at 11:46 GMT on Friday, June 21st, 2013.

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MEMBERS of Holyrood’s Justice Committee backed proposals to rationalise the number of sheriff courts and accompanying Justice of the Peace courts, on Tuesday 11th June. 

The result means that Cumbernauld will see the town’s Justice of the Peace court shut up shop, along with other J.P. courts in Annan, Irvine, Motherwell, Portree, Stornoway and Wick.

Backing of the proposals also means that sheriff courts in Dornoch, Duns, Kirkcudbright, Peebles, Rothesay, Cupar, Dingwall, Arbroath, Haddington and Stonehaven will be closed, with business transferred to nearby locations. 

Since the announcement politicians from all sides have lambasted the decision, with Scottish Conservative Chief Whip John Lamont saying the SNP were “cowardly” to not “stand up for their communities”, adding that the committee’s Nat members voted for the rationalisation to ensure that they “didn’t upset Alex Salmond”.


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Mr Lamont added: “This is a damaging decision, and one that we will soon see is a mistake.

“Courts already over-burdened with work will have to take on even more cases, and that will risk lengthy delays to sensitive and significant cases.

“Witnesses and victims who find themselves involved in the justice system through no fault of their own will also be inconvenienced by longer and more awkward journeys.

“This decision proves the Scottish Government isn’t serious about crime, and is yet more evidence of its soft-touch agenda.”


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